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SA swimmers kick off
- Updated: July 24, 2011
The 14th FINA World Championships’┬áswimming programme gets under way on Sunday and for South Africa this will be the business end of the championships, where they are expected to get on to the medals table after competing in the other three disciplines of synchronised swimming, waterpolo and the open water codes thus far.
Swimming South Africa Chief Executive Officer Shaun Adriaanse said they were looking forward to at least maintain the performance from the 2009 World Championships (Rome, Italy).
During those championships, the South African swimming team won a total of┬áfour medals ÔÇô one gold by Cameron van der Burgh in the 50-metre breaststroke ÔÇô and three bronze.
The three bronze medallists were Van der Burgh (100m breaststroke), Gerhard Zandberg (50m backstroke) and┬áChad Ho (5km open water).
ÔÇ£We have retained most of the swimmers from┬áthe 2009 championships and┬áwe have some promising┬áyoungsters who have come through our development┬á programmes,ÔÇØ said Adriaanse.
ÔÇ£Our swimmers have been here for just over a week to acclimatise and everything has been going according to plan in terms of their preparations. They are all looking forward to doing well and hoist the South African flag high and the support we are getting from the people back home is highly appreciated.
ÔÇ£The challenge for our swimming team is to equal the medal count of 2009, as the competition this year is quite tough. Any additional medal performances would be a welcome addition to our target.ÔÇØ
Besides Van der Burgh, some of the first South Africans to swim on Sunday include Athens Olympics gold medallists┬áRoland Schoeman and Darian Townsend.
Meanwhile, the only South African┬áteam that competed in the championships on Saturday were the women’s water polo side who narrowly lost 10-9 to Brazil.
South Africa scored through Lee Harris (4), Kelsey White (2), Patricia Schmidt (1), Kimberly Kay (1) and Anne Keet (1).
Marina Canetti (two), Luiza Carvalho (two), Cecilia Canetti (one), Mirella Coutinho (one), Cristina Beer (one), Garbiela Gozani (one), Izabella Chiappini (one) and Gabriela Dias (one) scored for the South Americans.
On Sunday, our men’s water polo side will also play against Brazil hoping to register their first win of the tournament.